Reviewed: January 2021
Released: January 2021, (Digital) Self-Release, (Physical) Sliptrick Records
Reviewer: Buddy H
Christmas came early for me with a series of albums to review from bands that I am not too familiar with at all! Next up for me was the latest release from Canadian born Red Cain, KINDRED: ACT II. I settled in on the couch with a glass full of Shiraz, dimmed the lights and, with nothing but the Christmas tree lighting the room, I pressed play and…
WOW!!! Where in the world do I begin? I have read that some people compare Red Cain to Symphony X, Kamelot, Amaranthe and other leaders of the progressive metal pack. Sure, I can hear minor glimpses of a few of those bands here and there but, those comparisons are a great disservice to Red Cain. They truly have a sound all their own. Are they progressive? Yes, but not to the point of being mindless wankery. Are they power metal? Yes, but not in the strictest subgenre definition. The music is epic, dynamic, multi layered and textured. There are moments of sheer headbanging glory followed immediately by atmospheric sense tingling moody passages. Melody is the foundation these tunes are built upon and the album flows effortlessly from track to track like scenes from a movie.
“Kindred” starts things off in magnificent fashion with melodic arpeggios over thick heavy guitar power chords and double kick drums. They bring things down briefly to begin the verse section with beautiful orchestration and piano work then explode back into the melodic arpeggio main theme. With changing dynamics and massive flowing energy, the tune is truly a perfect way to open this album. Next up is the ultra-catchy “Demons”. Bouncy synths, chunky low tuned guitars, and an outstanding rock-solid rhythm section blend perfectly to create a lush dense soundscape culminating in a tasteful well-placed solo. What an amazing one-two punch to start this album! Just when you think you have Red Cain figured out, they throw a massive curve ball at you in the form of “Baltic Fleet”. A simple haunting melodic piano joined by distant seagulls gracefully opens the song. A guttural scream then shakes you back into reality and they burst into the verse section with blast beats! Think of a much more melodic and slightly subdued Cradle of Filth (minus the shrieks of Dani Filth). A brief tempo change sets the stage for another perfectly executed brief solo. As I stated earlier, the album naturally and logically progresses, ending all too soon with the grand finale, “Sunshine (Blood Sun Empire)”.
From the proggy goodness of album opener “Kindred”, to the blast beats of “Baltic Fleet”, to the epic closer “Sunshine (Blood Sun Empire), there is something here for every fan of progressive power metal. With this being Act II in Red Cain’s Kindred body of work, I really feel as though I entered a movie theater right in the middle of an epic saga. Each song is a journey in and of itself, but each also contributes to the overall fantastic voyage. I will absolutely be purchasing Act I of this amazing tale and listen from start to finish, the way it was intended. Do yourself a favor and do the same!
3. Precipice of Man
4. Baltic Fleet
5. Varyag and the Shrike
6. Sons of Veles
7. Sunshine (Blood Sun Empire)
Evgeniy Zayarny – Lead Vocals
Tyler Corbett – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Taylor Gibson – Drums